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Grand Teton National Park Report

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Elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) in northwestern Wyoming tend to calve in open sagebrush habitats. In Jackson Hole the poriion of Grand Teton National Park east of Elk Ranch Reservoir has been described as a traditional calving ground for elk (Anderson 1958). Cattle are grazed in this area starting June 1, at the peak of the elk calving period. In May 1978 a study was begun to determine if the cattle and associated human disturbances had a detrimental effect on the elk. Elk use of the area was found to significatly decrease after the cattle entered the area. (Boyce and Sauer 1979). Field work this year was designed to substantiate the conclusions from last year's observations and provide more information on how the elk respond to the presence of cattle on their preferred calving habitat.